“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
~ Elbert Hubbard
~ Elbert Hubbard
I must admit that I have no idea who Elbert Hubbard is. But boy did he (she?) nail the concept of friendship.
I was filling out my passport renewal application form the other day (wishful thinking that I might actually need it) and was asked to provide two references that were not related to me by blood or marriage. It got me thinking about my network of friends and how lucky I am to have so many long lasting friendships.
My longest is with my dear friend Aubrey (also known as Bella Lime). We met in grade 3 and became instant friends.
|Aw...weren't we cute.|
It was a friendship that continued even after I moved away…we finally lost touch around grade 7. We ran into each other once just before I got married - we exchanged phone numbers but for some reason neither of us called.
Then about 6 years ago we were reconnected by – what else - Facebook. Miraculously we were living just a few blocks apart. We met for coffee and it was like no time had been lost at all. Even though in actuality it had been almost 20 years since we had seen each other.
And so because it doesn’t feel like we lost any time when it asked on my passport application how long she had known me I put 27 years. Crazy.
Writing down that number made me realize how many friends I have managed to keep in touch with over the years. And how those friendships reflect my life’s path.
I have friends like Aubrey that I met in elementary school and some from junior high and senior high. Friendships with colleagues and bosses alike from first jobs, second jobs and recent jobs. And I have my newest network of ‘mummy’ friends – both online and in real life. Finally…I have family members that are more than friends…they are the sisters that I never had.
It is truly amazing to me that these relationships – all built on different foundations – have stayed so strong over the years. Some are much more active than others…where I see them once a week or more. With others we can go months without speaking and when we finally meet up it’s like no time has passed at all.
These are the friendships where a code of mutual understanding is required. Understanding that there is to be no judgment or hurt feelings if a significant amount of time passes between meetings. Understanding that just because our lives got busy doesn’t mean we aren’t still important to each other.
With hubby occupied with the great apartment renovation of 2012…I have been spending more time than ever over the past couple of weeks with my friends. Sometimes I am escaping from my mummy duties for a girls night out. Other times I have been arranging playdates with my friends and their kids. No matter what the location or context I am increasingly grateful for the presence of these amazing women in my life.
They make me laugh and make me cry. They come to me for encouragement and then offer it right back. They know when to back off on a subject and when to press me on something. They let me moan and groan and feel sorry for myself and then gently remind me that my life is actually pretty awesome.
They also – like dear ol’ Elbert says – know all about me and still love me. Love me despite my many faults and idiosyncrasies. Love me even though they know the bad things about me. Love me even though I love to dish it out and (sometimes) have a hard time taking it. (I’m working on that…still)
Each has their own area of advice expertise…some are experts on multiple areas. No matter if my problems or challenges are related to work, relationships, parenting, decorating, clothes, health or one of my many other areas of worry…one of my friends will have it covered.
I am truly blessed…and I only hope that I am able to offer the same comfort back to my friends that they offer to me.
So to all you lovely ladies in my life…and you know you are…thank you. For everything.
I cherish you more than you could ever know…
Seems appropriate to bookend this post with another quote that I love:
“Friends are the family that you choose for yourself.”
~ Edna Buchanan